It’s been less than a week since akademy ended, and already it seems like forever. Vancouver’s finally figured out that it’s supposed to be summer, and I’ve got lots of friends to catch up with over then next couple of weeks (having a job makes everything else so hard to schedule :P ) but part of me wishes I could go back already. :) There was hacking and partying and talking and cooking and singing and dancing and, of course, hugs! :)

Now that I’m back home I’m remembering all sorts of things I didn’t do at akademy… but.. I think it was actually a very good akademy nonetheless. Other people have blogged about things they accomplished, so I’ll skip that – but what did I accomplish?

Well, I got some bugs fixed, that was good. I found out that webodf could be useful to owncloud – that certainly made me more motivated in my job. :) I discussed activities with the netbook and mobile guys, and we figured out what approach to take. But I think the most important thing I did was some cat-herding. Not that I did it, really, but that I discovered I could do it. :)

There’s a running joke in KDE that Aaron has +20 charisma underpants. :) He’s a leader, a motivator, he’s so good with people; there must be something special about him.

Well, guess what: There isn’t.

He’s just this guy, you know? Any one of us can learn to do the things he does. It may not be easy, but it can be done. Mostly it just takes a little thought and a lot of stubbornness. ;)

I always thought of myself as the shy one, the invisible one; I only got into leadership positions when people were trying to keep someone else out of them; I thought I was hopelessly bad at all that people stuff. However, being in plasma, I’ve started to try these things anyways – and at akademy I discovered I’ve actually gained the ability to do some of them. :) I got people together and led a meeting; I made people get up and talk at the plasma bof session; I was still nervous at times, but I ignored that and got stuff done anyways, and somehow it worked. :)

These things won’t work smoothly the first time, of course – but that’s life. And the great thing about KDE is, you can try something and fail at it and people will come in and help out and maybe even show you how to do it better next time. Or at least not kill you for it. ;) We don’t have much of a hierarchy, so if you want to learn to do something, you just start doing it; and when you get stuck, you just have to ask for help.

I think another part of the reason I’ve been willing to try these things has been my martial arts training. I joined for the exercise, but it’s been good in other ways too. Our sensei doesn’t just teach us martial arts, but gives us the opportunity to teach others. Experienced students help the less-experienced ones, during practice or when sensei’s busy helping someone else. On our tests, we’re expected to know how to explain certain techniques to others. When practicing forms, we take turns leading. So, when our sensei isn’t well, one of us can take over and run the class for a bit. :) Not only does this build our self-confidence, it keeps things running smoothly.

The same thing can happen in free software communities, although it doesn’t happen on its own. Leadership and maintenance duties are something we all can learn – and should, because people come and go, and nobody can be around all the time. When many people in the community can take over a role as needed (they don’t have to be perfect at it, just somewhat competent) then we have a stronger community, one that isn’t dependent on any single mortal human. :)

So, get out there and try new things! If something needs to be done, volunteer for it. If something that was supposed to happen didn’t, go make it happen. Step out of your comfort zone, learn, and have fun. :) And remember: we can do this.

{July 8, 2010}   akademy bof days

so monday evening was typical akademy chaos. :) A few of us wanted to go to an indian restaurant for dinner… somehow our group of 8 (a reasonable number for not overwhelming a restaurant) was soon 11, and then 13 or 15… then there was some confusion and it was only 5. We did find the place, but it was closed :P so we ended up in an odd “mexican” place instead. decent food, big portions, but… thousand island dressing is not really a suitable replacement for cheese. o.0
After dinner and drinks there was going to be karaoke.. but the place that supposedly had karaoke every night was also closed. :P Directions from locals led us to other closed bars, but eventually we ran into a KDE crowd again. :) So the night didn’t go as planned at all, but it was still fun. :)

Tuesday, the bofs began. I was at the odfkit bof, where jos showed off our shiny things (which I’ll be showing again at thursday’s owncloud bof). I was too hot and tired to eat lunch on tuesday, so I just had a nap, but later I wandered through a few bofs and ended up in an impromptu owncloud one. Dinner was a success that night (the wok place on the akademy map is good!) and then we got to watch the netherlands win that strange game everyone’s so excited about. ;)

Wednesday morning was the plasma bof. There was a bit of confusion there, with one person missing and another having to go to a meeting, but me and ryan dragged people up there and made them talk. ;) So, all’s well that ends well. After that I went back to hacking and other little errands… but I find myself too tired to tackle any complicated issues. blah. …so I had dinner and played some rockband and went for a walk. Akademy is fun, but exhausting. :)

Now it’s thursday morning, and in a few minutes I’ll be talking about how odfkit & webodf can be useful to owncloud, so I guess I should get off the internet. :)

{July 7, 2010}   akademy, day ??

whee, akademy has been fun :) I’m too tired to hack or talk any more, so here I am blogging.

The boat to akademy was fun, if a little crowded – the cheap rooms are really sized for one, and there were four of us. We spent most of our time up in the rest of the boat, eating and drinking and seeing the scenery and the entertainment. :) We arrived in helsinki friday morning, and were in tampere by the afternoon.

I’m staying in the TOAS hostel, and it’s quite a nice hostel :) clean and bright and spacious, and we have three of the four floors to ourselves. :) Of course we haven’t spent much time there – soon after arriving we went to Demola to register, and akademy has been busy as usual ever since. :) It was great to meet old and new faces there… Then on our way to dinner, a group of us got distracted by some locals with a slackline. :) We had lots of fun trying to balance on that, sitting around in the park chatting… and later when we came back, a different akademy group had run into them too :) I’m sure there are photos up on flickr by now; I’m too darn tired to look for htem.

Saturday the talks began; there was lots of good stuff as usual. There were a fair number of nokia/meego people around, too, and I think good things will come of that. :) I was really surprised at the number of kde-meego presentations; I knew people were intersted, but didn’t realise quite how many. :)

Saturday night was the traditional akademy party, which I think was sponsored by meego this year. The drinks were watery, but there were lots of them (and lots of glasses of water), and dancing, and lots of fun was had. :)

Sunday I was still alive enough to make it to the talks; there was a really good one by some of the women in KDE. They mentioned Impostor Syndrome, and reminded the other women that they can do a lot more than they think they can. :) I think that applies to more than just the women in KDE; while it’s much more common among us, a lot of KDE guys seem insecure too. All the people doing awesome stuff are still just people, and they get insecure too, and you’ve got to put those feelings aside and just do stuff anyways because often the only thing holding you back is yourself. :)

We had another good keynote from aaron on sunday, too; he talked about all the opportunities in front of us, and what we need to do to grab them and not let them pass us by. Again, we’re often insecure, and unaware of the great things we’ve already done. There are millions of KDE desktops in countries like brazil. We’ve done awesome stuff and we should keep doing awesome stuff and not forget it, and not think we suck just because we can’t make something 100% perfect (*nobody* can!). :)

On monday we had the annual e.V AGM. We finished in record time: just over three hours! :) I think this is the first time it was done before lunch. :) After lunch, I rounded up the plasma & kwin guys for a meeting (omg, I can hold meetings! ;) – it went quite well, I think we got through almost all the discussions we needed to have right there, and some guys split off for a meeting with kde-edu that seemed to go very well too. :) :) so now I mostly just need to hack and listen to bofs.

Speaking of hacking, I have been getting a little done here and there. rc2 should have proper migration support and a couple of other little fixes. However, I haven’t had time to look at the multiscreen regressions :( and I haven’t seen anyone else committing, so I’m not sure what state that will be in. I’m hoping that the commits that were done a while ago were done just *after* rc1 and fixed things; I just haven’t had time to test so I really have no clue. :)
[update: I just tested it with per-desktop views, and that creates views perfectly :D looks like things *will* be working better in rc2.]

…it’s actually wednesday morning now; I was too tired to finish writing hte post. :) I think I’ll stop here, and talk about the bof days later.

et cetera